Annual Report: World Whiskies Top 10

14 January, 2016

Next up in our Annual Report, we look at the World Whiskies that performed best in our poll of 100 of the best bars in the world. 



For years the trade has talked up Japanese whisky and for years it has remained niche.

But the World’s 50 Best Bars Annual Report shows the gospel has been getting through to consumers and they are responding.

In the World Whisky category, Nikka has taken the top seller and top trending titles.

With American and scotch excused from this catch-all category, the real competition for Japan came in the form of Irish, Taiwanese, Indian and Scandinavian whiskies.

Nikka was among the top three best sellers in half of bars polled and the top pour in a quarter – including London’s American bar and Paris’ Copperbay – which was as many as Jameson.

The Pernod Ricard-owned Irish whiskey leader might have expected to top this list. It was a regular seller in 45% of polled bars, which tells you Jameson is not as dominant in the elite bar channel as it is the wider market.

The smaller brands Redbreast and Teelings and blends Bushmills and Tullamore Dew all feature in our top 10.

But the top four best sellers in World Whiskies were each regular sellers in at least 40% of the 100 polled bars. While Nikka is a family of sub-brands, Suntory whiskies are sold under separate names.

It’s even more impressive then that Yamazaki is a top three seller in 40% of bars and the top world whisk(e)y in 15% of those polled, including Hong Kong’s Lobster Bar and Stockton, and Boston’s Drink.

Hibiki, the best-selling world whisk(e)y at Milan’s Nottingham Forest, had almost identical stats to its stable-mate, while a third Suntory brand, Hakushu, was found less frequently as a best seller but in regular use in 15% of bars polled. The top-three trending world whiskies were all Japanese.

Which leads us to Kavalan, which is flying the Taiwanese whisky flag singularly. It appears in the World Whiskies best sellers for the first time and looks set to stay next year if sixth place in Trending is anything to go by. 


The Best Selling list is based on bottles sold while the Top Trending list refers to on-trend brands that are being requested right now but are not necessarily sold in high volumes.

To find out more about how we carried out the survey and collated the results read How We Did It

Check out the other lists here:

TequilaGinUS WhiskeyVodkaBrandyRumScotch, Bartenders' Choice.

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